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I have a caramel candy recipe that uses spiced honey instead of corn syrup that I really love. I also have a caramel syrup recipe that uses rum and it was a huge hit with the family. I am hoping to merge the two and make a spiced caramel candy that has rum flavor.

I saw a recipe that called for 1/4 cup of Rum in its recipe, but I was afraid to add too much moisture to a recipe with honey in it (especially since the reviews for this particular recipe complained a lot about the caramels not setting properly), so I tried adding 2-3 tablespoons of rum during the initial heating of the sugar and honey. They turned out well as far as firmness goes but the rum seemed to evaporate and leave no flavor behind.

Second attempt I tried adding a teaspoon of strong, dark spiced rum at the end after taking the whole batch off the heat, much like you would vanilla extract, but yet again there was no flavor left. This time they also turned out a bit soft.

I guess I'm wondering... is there a better way to do this, or should I just use a rum extract instead? Do you have any experience adding rum or other alcohol flavors to candy?

Thanks so much for your time!

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Your best bet is to use rum extract, especially one designed for candy making, and to add it only after the sugar (or honey) syrup comes to temperature.

The extract is going to have a much stronger flavor than actual rum. You will not need to dilute your syrup base to get a good flavor.

Adding it at the end minimizes the amount of volatile flavor lost to evaporation.

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I had no idea there were extracts designed for candy making in particular. Thank you for explaining when and why; this was very helpful. :) –  Trillian Feb 16 at 16:20

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